The rapper/producer also out-earned artists like Beyoncé and JAY-Z to gain the top spot for the 2010s

By Benjamin VanHoose
December 24, 2019 10:55 AM
Advertisement

The past decade saw massive earnings for the music industry.

In a new report, Forbes tallied the highest-earning artists in music for the past decade — and No. 1 on the list is Dr. Dre, who saw an estimated $950 million in the 2010s. That massive paycheck puts him ahead of stars like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and JAY-Z.

The former N.W.A. rapper, 54, may not have released an album of his own since 2015’s Compton, but no one has forgotten about Dre. Thanks to his stake in headphone giant Beats, plus some other business-savvy ventures, the hip-hop producer made his way to the front of the pack.

Dre. Dre; Taylor Swift
| Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage; Steve Granitz/WireImage

Following Dre in the No. 2 spot is Swift, who made a pretty penny on her own. The 30-year-old pop star’s decade’s worth of albums, partnerships and touring garnered her a whopping $825 million, according to Forbes, and she was 2019’s highest-paid celebrity.

Next in line is Beyoncé, 38, whose $685 million estimate proves she really does run the world. Her husband, JAY-Z, 50, sits comfortably at the No. 7 spot with $560 million.

The ranking doesn’t include earnings among the estates of deceased artists, but Forbes notes that if postmortem profits were accounted for, Michael Jackson would easily outdo everyone alive with a figure of $2.37 billion.

Taylor Swift
| Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Up next for Dre is a collaboration with Kanye West. In November, the two announced that they are hard at work on a sequel to West’s most recent album, Jesus Is King.

Details are limited, as the hip-hop titans shared the news on social media with a picture of themselves posing in front of a recording desk, saying only that the project would be “coming soon.”

An advocate for artists’ stake in their own music and the monetization of their work, Swift is often vocal about ownership over her discography and unapologetic about her business smarts.

In an interview for British Vogue‘s January issue, the pop powerhouse opened up about how her career to date, spanning over a decade, has been partly shaped by her dedication to her work behind the scenes.

“I think [writing] is really important — also from the side of ownership over what you do and make,” said Swift who, notably, has been embroiled in an ongoing public feud with her former label Big Machine Label Group and record executive Scooter Braun over the rights to her music.

“Even if you aren’t a natural writer, you should try to involve yourself in the messages you’re sending,” she added.